Last night’s (Oct. 7, 2008) low temperature around Sanatoga PA was in the upper-30s; Monday night’s was in the mid-40s. It’s time to start thinking about how to keep warm during the coming winter while simultaneously saving money.
In answer to both, the state Department of Environmental Protection offers two words: “inspect,” and “conserve;” as in, inspect home heating equipment and conserve energy with simple but effective measures.
“A typical Pennsylvania family spends more than $3,400 a year on utility bills,” DEP Acting Secretary John Hanger said Monday in a press release. He predicts home heating costs could rise 30 percent or more during 2009. Although many families face “difficult financial decisions” due to energy costs, Hanger acknowledged, they can cut their bills by cutting energy consumption.
The DEP recommends:
- In homes heated by oil, inspect indoor and outdoor tanks for potential problems before refilling. If an tank appears to have problems, immediately call an oil company for help.
- Similarly inspect natural gas heating systems for leaks, which create health and safety dangers.
- Conduct a home energy audit. 1) Seal and insulate, usually starting with the attic; 2) Install a programmable thermostat; 3) Upgrade the heating system; 4) Replace old appliances with high-efficiency units; 5) Switch to energy-efficient lighting; 6) Install storm windows and insulating curtains or shades; and 7) Replace or add energy-efficiency features to a home’s water heater.